Yesterday, the Senate Armed Services Committee held a hearing on the impact of sequestration on national security. It was perhaps the grimmest assessment yet of the effect of sequestration, as all four service chiefs unanimously testified to the devastating impact of the defense budget caps on the U.S. military.
Tuesday, both the Senate Finance Committee and the House Committee on Ways and Means held hearings with U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman, on trade policy. The discussion at the hearings focused heavily on Congress giving President Obama Trade Promotion Authority (TPA).
This is National School Choice Week, an apt moment to remind ourselves that education is not exempt from the dynamics that prevail in other parts of society: monopolies are always potentially bad, usually actually bad, and the ability of new entrants to provide a competitive product or service is the best way to tame these tendencies and satisfy the most consumers.
A recent study by Health Affairs found that middle-aged Americans underestimate their likelihood of needing home health services by 500 percent.
Monday the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its 2015 Budget and Economic Outlook. The release contained no real surprises: the federal budget is on an unsustainable course driven by rising spending in mandatory (entitlement) programs despite rising revenues (including as a percentage of GDP) and unrealistic caps on defense and non-defense discretionary (annual) spending.
On December 26, 2013 the president signed into law the Bipartisan Budget Act (BBA), which established discretionary spending levels and enforcement provisions, for FY2014 and FY2015. This was designed to add certainty to the appropriations process and avoid government shutdowns.
If built, the Keystone XL pipeline could carry about 700,000 barrels per day of a reliable, inexpensive, carbon-rich form of oil, known as diluted bitumen. AAF identified which states are likely to benefit most from increased trade in this form of crude.
A defining principle for the school choice movement is a belief that parents should be able to send children to a school that best fits the child’s educational needs. Over the last two decades, options available to parents have expanded beyond the use of public funds for private schools.
When the U.S. housing bubble burst the aftershocks were at the heart of the financial crisis and Great Recession, so you might think that policymakers would avoid at all costs the kinds of policies that fed the housing bubble. Enter the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), which yesterday put into effect a 0.50 percent (50 basis points) reduction in the premiums borrowers must pay for taxpayer-backed FHA mortgage insurance.
In laying out his Administration’s agenda for 2015, President Obama announced in early January that the Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) would reduce Federal Housing Administration (FHA) mortgage insurance premiums from 1.35 percent to 0.85 percent. While some have labeled the announcement “welcome news for prospective FHA borrowers,” the costs merit further exploration; HUD’s decision will certainly affect FHA’s finances and lead to an expanded government role in the mortgage market.